Benjamin the Elephant creeping slowly onto screens
by Bénédicte Prot
- There is just under a year to wait before we finally get to see the adventures of the German animated elephant Benjamin Blümchen on the big screen, acted out by real-life performers
If the gestation period of this particular little elephant requires a long post-production phase, it’s because this is a particularly ambitious venture, as it is a big-screen, live-action adaptation of the successful cartoon Benjamin the Elephant (Benjamin Blümchen, to give him his German name), created by Studios Kiddinx in Berlin from radio stories by Elfie Donnelly that have been aired since 1977 (there have been around 135 to date). For this project, Kiddinx has been supported by Westside Filmproduktion, Studiocanal, and producers Martin Richter and Christian Becker from Rat Pack Filmproduktion, which is already highly experienced in making family and children’s films (it has titles such as The Crocodiles [+see also:
film profile], Vicky the Viking [+see also:
film profile] and Jerry Cotton [+see also:
film profile] under its belt, for example).
Directing duties have been entrusted to Tim Trachte (who made a film that hit screens last year, the youngster-orientated movie Die Vampirschwestern 3 [+see also:
film profile]), from a screenplay by Bettina Börgerding (the screenwriter of the Bibi & Tina [+see also:
film profile] movies, amongst others). The cast includes Dieter Hallervorden, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Johannes Suhm, Friedrich von Thun, Liane Forestieri and Heike Makatsch in the role of the new manager of the zoo where Benjamin the Elephant lives. She is called Zora Zack and is an unscrupulous woman who, under the pretext of modernising the premises, plans to downsize them in order to enable luxury flats to be built on the site. To stop her from doing so, Benjamin and his friends embark on a number of madcap adventures.
The shoot for the film took place in and around Cologne during spring. The post-production is in progress, and the national release has been slated for 11 October 2018 by Studiocanal (which is also in charge of the sales). This family production has received support from the NRW (€500,000) and FFF Bayern (more than €728,000) regional funds.
In collaboration with
(Translated from French)
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